Friday, August 23, 2019

Haphazard Eid cattle slaughter continues in Dhaka as fixed places draw few people

  • Joyanta Saha, Golam Mujtaba Dhruba, Pias Talukder, Dipok Ray and Abdullah Al Momin,  bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-08-13 02:40:38 BdST

Shahjalal Firoz, a resident of Banani in Dhaka, brought a goat to the city corporation abattoir near Mohakhali Bus Terminal for slaughter on the morning of Eid-ul-Azha Monday.  

He saved 25 percent costs of slaughter and meat processing as per the Dhaka North City Corporation’s announcement, but was the only one person enjoying the benefits at 10:30am.   

Most of the people started slaughtering cattle and processing meat haphazardly on main streets, alleys or the premises of their house after the Eid congregations early in the morning.

The practice, which has been continuing for years despite the authorities’ efforts to clean up the mess swiftly by designating places for Eid cattle slaughter, turned the city into a place difficult to move around without stepping on blood and other waste materials from slaughtered cattle by midday.

Like previous years, the situation is likely to get worse in the coming days as the piles of wastes and blood will rot and spread foul smell. 

Despite the two city corporations of Dhaka allocating specific spots for sacrificing cattle in the capital, the designated spots largely went unused with citizens performing the Korbani ritual on the streets of Rampura's Wapda Road on Eid-ul-Azha on Monday. Photo: Mostafigur Rahman

Despite the two city corporations of Dhaka allocating specific spots for sacrificing cattle in the capital, the designated spots largely went unused with citizens performing the Korbani ritual on the streets of Rampura's Wapda Road on Eid-ul-Azha on Monday. Photo: Mostafigur Rahman

Shahjalal, a retired banker, wondered why the people were indifferent to using the fixed places.

“The city corporation has arranged a wonderful place for cattle slaughter. Everything is here, even the transport to take the meat home. Why are the people not becoming aware?” he asked.

He pointed the finger at the people in charge as well by firing a volley of questions: “Where are the city corporation councillors? Haven’t they sacrificed cattle this time? Haven’t the mayors sacrificed cattle? Then why is this slaughterhouse empty?”  

To know the answers, bdnews24.com called Dhaka South Mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon and Dhaka North Mayor Atiqul Islam. None took the phone calls.

Both completed the job of animal sacrifice at their homes – Khokon at Banani and Atiqul at Uttara, according to Uttam Kumar Roy and ASM Mamun, the spokespersons for DSCC and DNCC respectively.

 

It would take some time to remove all the wastes because they defied the instruction to use the designated places for animal sacrifice, Mayor Atiqul said while launching the work to remove cattle waste in Uttara.

DSCC Chief Waste Management Officer Manjur Hossain also said the workers were facing difficulties removing cattle waste.

THE PROBLEMS

In the quest for answers as to why the people have not used the places designated for Eid cattle slaughter, bdnews24.com has found these responses:

>> The place is not big enough.     

>> There will be chaos if many go to use the place at a time.

>> The place lacks water and other necessary stuff.

>> The place is far from home, so it will mean trouble to take cattle there and bring the meat home.

>> We haven’t ever used the designated places, and there has never been a problem for not doing so.

>> Using the designated places is not mandatory.

>> Where is the designated place? No-one has told us anything.

Md Mofizur Rahman Bhuyian, the official in-charge of zones 5 and 10 under DNCC, admitted that they could not arrange as many butchers and slaughterers as needed.

“People also fear that their cattle will get exchanged with others,” he added.

The DNCC has designated 400 spots for cattle slaughtering besides making arrangements for animal sacrifice at 273 places. The number of cattle slaughtering spots designated by DSCC is 602.

Sazzad Hossain, the councillor of a ward under DNCC, said only four of the eight places fixed in his ward were able to draw people while the rest was empty.

The authorities needed to use only three of the eight pickups sent by the city corporations for transporting meat, he added.

Sazzad also admitted that the city corporation could not arrange all the things necessary for cattle slaughter at the spots leading to a failure to earn the people’s confidence.

“At least 5,000 cows are slaughtered in my ward. We could not do whatever necessary for this,” he said. 

The councillor believes citizens may be encouraged to slaughter cattle at designated places if the authorities run mobile courts besides increasing facilities.